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News: Record year for regeneration

National regeneration agency, English Partnerships, has reported its highest ever-recorded investment programme of £836m, an increase of 73% on the previous year’s figure.

In its Annual Report published this week, the 2005/2006 results also show the agency exceeded all of its targets:

  • 7,389 new homes started on site up 66% on last year
  • 3,182 homes completed up 26% on last year
  • 411,000 sq m of employment workspace up 122% on last year
  • £664m of private sector investment up 38% on last year

Highlights of the year included two major site acquisitions of surplus public sector land that will ensure a significant supply line of sites for creating and regenerating communities in years to come.

Oakington Barracks in Cambridgeshire was acquired from Defence Estates in a deal worth nearly £100m and a further £280m was paid to the Department of Health for the first tranches of a national portfolio of 96 redundant hospital sites across the breadth of England.

Baroness Ford, Chairman of English Partnerships said, "This has been a fantastic year for the agency right across the range of our activities."

Other highlights of the year included signing partnering agreements with three development consortia for the London-Wide Initiative4 (LWI). The LWI will deliver up to 2,000 affordable homes including houses for key workers and first time buyers in the Capital. Two sites have been granted consent and work has started on site at Adelaide Wharf in Hackney on the first 147 homes.

The concept of the First-Time Buyers’ Initiative (FTBI) - a new shared-equity scheme has become a reality following the agreement of funding and delivery mechanisms. The FTBI is on target to deliver up to 15,000 housing starts on site by 2010.

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